PHI 215, Lecture 2: Nonsense as Salvation

Posted Boomtime, Bureaucracy 11 YOLD 3173
Today’s reading.

It is common knowledge, in my experience, that the more seriously anyone takes themselves, after a certain point, the less seriously we take them. Witness, for example, PZ Myers, a biologist who, though he can be very serious, is still capable of being silly. Contrast this with the fundamentalists who protest every single “slightagainst Islam. The advice of those who can, and do, laugh at themselves is often easier for us to appreciate that the advice of those who R a srius cat.

This is an essential concept in the Discordian mindset. A major reason that Discordians are so frivolous and insufferably flippant is this very teaching. If humanity would stop taking itself so damn seriously, and just enjoy things, it would open the gates for salvation from bigotry, war, hatred, and a number of other ills. A large amount of what is wrong with the world today, according to the Discordian view, is that we can’t laugh at ourselves, can’t take a joke at our expense, and can’t let things slide. It’s strongly related to the Buddhist teachings that, in order to achieve enlightenment, we must divest ourselves of our attachment to this life.

Obviously, this is not an overnight, “magic man done it” fix. Even if the premise were true, adoption of the policy of “Laugh it off” is abominable to nearly everyone. Everyone has attachments to things, stuff that really pulls at you. Many of these are important, for example a strong aversion to woo*. I’m not saying we need to drop these completely, but it is important that we can step back from them once in a while, and laugh.

The world is a massive place, and on the whole, it makes very little sense to most people. It’s far to grand and wonderful to spend your whole life not laughing at it. That, in a nutshell, is the premise behind Nonsense as Salvation. If we can laugh at it, it can’t hurt us.
*Please note that I am in full accord with the linked post. This is an example of an important Serious Thing.

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